Monday, January 29, 2007

Catholic New World

The Chicago Archdiocese puts out a newspaper every other week, titled the Catholic New World. In between pleasant stories ("Candy Sales Provide Sweet Treats, Helps Ministry"), one of our great friends Dolores Madlener writes some eye-opening shorts on what is going on at local Churches: Here are some good ones showing the cultural Renaissance of Catholic Chicago

Symposium on Poulenc's Opera "Catholicism, Martyrdom and the French Revolution" Jan 28 at Depaul

Scott Turow Feb 2 at the Union League First Friday Club

Fr. Edward McKenna directs La Comica del Cielo music by Abbatini, libretto by Pope Clement IX at Our Lady of Pompeii on Feb 19th.

d'Vine Affair Wine Tasting Jan 28th at the Union Leauge sponsored by Catholic Charities

Catholic Physicians Guild Jan 27th at U of I Chicagao Newman Center

St. James Chess Club Tournament Results

Tridentine Mass in Highwood at St. James Parish 11:30 AM Third Thursdays

and the best news item of all...

Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows will be Open Daily from 8AM-4:30PM, Novenas at 8AM Friday

Three Cheers for the Servites and Father Frank Falco for opening up this Architectural Masterpiece! I celebrate with a previously unpublished James Morris photo. (Unpublished because I forgot to move the goofy looking fan, I suppose.)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

1st Round Draft Choice: The Archdiocese of New York

As I have mentioned, we are contemplating a publication of photographic history of the churches and chapels of Archdiocese of New York City. I have toured extensively in Manhattan and a bit in the Bronx, and have had numerous conversations with interested participants, but I think it would be fantastic to get some group interaction from the readers here. Here is a partial list

Old St. Pats
St. Malachy's
The original Manhattanvile College of the Sacred Heart (City College/Harlem) Is it still there? Eglise de Notre Dame 405 W. 114th
Catherine of Siena 411 E. 68th
Francis de Sales 135 E. 96th
St Francis Xavier 30 W. 16th St.
Jean Baptiste 184 E76th
St. Peters Barclay Street?
St. Thomas More 65 E. 89th
Fordham Chapel
Our Lady of Pompei 25 Carmine St.
Our Lady of the Rosary 7 State Street
St. Vincent de Paul 123 West 23rd St
St. Pats Cathedral
St Vincent Ferrer
St. Ignatius Loyola
St. Andrews (pictured btw)

So have at it...what 75 Churches and Chapels should be photographed for "Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic New York"....?

New Issue of SAJ in the Mail

Professor Stroik has done it again with fine episode of Sacred Architecture Journal. Book reviews and articles by Bill Heyer, (St. Barbara's scholar) Denis McNamara, Dino Marcantonio and many others in the current issue of the paper of record for traditional ecclesiology.

Here is a brilliant shot by James Morris, adapter for use in a SAJ publication

Saturday, January 13, 2007

From the Land of Sky Blue Waters

In an interview with The Catholic Spirit, one of the nation's top Ecclesioligists, Prof. Duncan Stroik tells it like it is:

"For a Catholic, and for a Catholic building, beauty is essential, because first of all, God’s middle name is Beauty. And he, being in his creation, created great works of beauty that we are able to be stewards of. So, in our own way, we’re asked to imitate the creator in also creating beauty. So that’s the most important reason that we should build beautiful buildings — that it’s for God, it’s for his glory and it’s an imitation of him."

The above photo shows Stroik's (soon to be declared) masterpiece, the Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, in one of my favorite towns, LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

More from St Vincent de Paul

Here are some shots of the fragile but beautiful St. Vincent de Paul in Manhattan from the Summer of 2006. And here is a prayer to St. Vincent that he may intercede on behalf of his built namesake, and permit another Light of Christ to reach this brilliant city.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Mary, comforter of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who at the tenderest age didst display a wisdom most mature, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who from thy childhood wast full of pity and compassion, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who like David, from a simple shepherd becamest a ruler and pastor of the people of God, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who in thy captivity by Turkish pirates didst preserve perfect freedom, Pray for us.
St. Vincent the just man, who didst live by faith, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, always supported on the firm anchor of a Christian hope, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, always inflamed with the fire of perfect charity, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, truly simple, upright, and fearing God, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, true disciple of Jesus Christ, always meek and humble of heart, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, perfectly mortified in heart and mind, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, ever animated with the spirit of Our Lord, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, generous maintainer of the glory of God, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, ever inwardly burning and ever outwardly transported with zeal for souls, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who in Christian poverty didst find the precious pearl and the rich treasure of the Gospel, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, like to the Angels in thy purity, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, faithful in obedience and victorious in word and deed, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who didst fly the slightest appearance of evil, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who in all thine actions didst aspire to the practice of perfect virtue, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who didst remain like a rock amidst the stormy sea of this world, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, invincible amidst the arrows of adversity, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, as patient in suffering as thou wast indulgent in forgiving, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, ever docile and obedient son of the Holy See, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who hadst exceeding horror of the novel ways and subtle words of heretics, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, destined by a special Providence to announce the Gospel to the poor, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, father and model of ecclesiastics, Pray for us. St. Vincent, prudent founder of the Congregation of the Mission, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, wise institutor of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, tender in compassionating and prompt in relieving the necessities of the poor, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, equally fervent in the practice of prayer and in ministry of the word, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, admirable in imitation of the life and virtues of Jesus, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who didst persevere to the end in shunning evil and doing good, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, who as in life so in death wast most precious in the sight of God, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, glory of France and pride of Paris, Pray for us.
St. Vincent, patron of all charitable associations, Pray for us.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bagdhad by the lake

The Economist newsaper last year famously referred to Chicago as "Baghdad by the lake" noting:

A DICTATOR on the rampage; airfields destroyed; a pre-emptive strike; calls for outside intervention to bring democracy. It is not difficult to see why one cartoonist has lampooned Richard Daley's Chicago as “Baghdad by the lake”.

In my opinion Mayor Daley is no dictator, at least not a violent one. Yet, a creeping Statism pervades our Urban environment, presuming the Government is the best decision maker as to use of public resources. Consider this: the Cannes beachfront pictured above is most completely privately owned and managed. All manner of hotels, such as the Martinez (a haunt of PG Wodehouse among others) provide pretty much any service a visitor could want, right to your lounge chair on the Mediterranean. But if this privately owned model can work in semi-Socialist France, why not Chicago?

Well, back some 50 years ago, Chicago did have something quite like Le Croissette in Cannes: Edgewater Beach. Everyday luxury, a walkable neighborhood and yes, cold drinks served at your lounge chair on the beach.

So what happened? Well, you might notice that Lake Shore Drive is not in that postcard picture, as it was not built yet. Through an incessant demand for a quicker commute, landfill was inserted on the EAST side of the lake front to build the massive (and quite functional) highway. But in between, pedestrian and private access to Lake Michiagan were cut off. Anyone wanting to get to the Lake in this neighborhood is taking his life in his own hands.

So, since the loss of an Old Urban piece of brilliance is a lamented waste of natural resources one might think that the "progressive" elements in Chicago would work night and day to see that it does not happen again. Unfortunately, not true.

The long closed USX South Works in the South Shore neighborhood is a case in point. A 275 acre site surrounded by Lake Michigan is under redevelopment now, with many quite pleasant plans to implement "New Urbanism" non-vehicular everday life, with Metra Stops, restaurants, high density residential area, and most importantly: pedestrian access to Lake Michigan.

However, an alternate view exists, touting Government control of the lakefront in the South Shore neighborhood, cutting off human access to the Lake with another in a series of ill-advised, underutilized, poorly maintained, pedestrian-hostile "park". In a presentation titled "Completing the South Lakefront Parks:The Last Four Miles", a group claiming to be "Friends of the Park" are demanding control of "approximately 4 miles are not public parks but remain in private or quasi-governmental ownership."

Can anyone tell with, with the City's pathetic record on providing park access and maintenance, do we really want the city to appropriate the last area between Foster Ave and Indiana not under the Park District's thumb? Or would we rather have at least a French level of respect for private enterprise to provide human access to one of the finest natural resources in the Midwest?